Revenge Recap: Oh Brother, Get Out Now
Revenge Recap: Oh Brother, Get Out Now
The strongest Revenge episodes go one of two ways: Emily either systematically takes down someone drunk on his or her own power, or she spends most of the hour making a “How did someone as pretty as I am wind up so royally screwed?” face as the plans she once considered redwood-solid crumble around her like so much day-old coffee cake.
This week’s installment fell into the latter category, and not a moment too soon.
Maybe it’s just the Red Sharpie fumes talking, but if I can’t see Emily gleefully orchestrating the downfall of those who deserve it, I very much enjoy watching her hustle to get back in control. This week, she works overtime to turn the Hamptons tide her way and still doesn’t have the upper hand by :59 past the hour, but the episode achieves something sorely lacking this season: a compelling lead-in to next week’s outing. So without further ado, let’s review all the ways Emily gets messed with in “Illumination.”
ELI LIES | The episode picks up directly after last week’s cemetery run-in with “Amanda’s” foster brother Eli. Emily and Aiden hang out at his “safe haven” – which I thought would be some posh underground bunker or something but just turns out to be his house – where she explains that she and Eli lived together at the place she set on fire, and that he was her “protector.” His motives now, however, seem a bit less noble. Emily runs into him at Grayson Manor, where he obviously recognizes her as Amanda Clarke but ably covers. Victoria (who looks amazing in a sleeveless forest green dress, by the way) doesn’t notice anything amiss, and invites him to the inaugural benefit for the Amanda Clarke Foundation. Eli says he’s staying in town for a while, so he’ll accept. Emily’s face says, “Are you freaking for real?”
Nolan – for good reason – fears that Eli is Tyler all over again. “Tyler was sick. Eli is a wildcard,” Emily assures him. And that wildcard soon makes it clear that he knows that Emily, and not Amanda, is his foster sib. “I spent years trying to track you down,” he says, adding that he found a stripper “trying to pass herself off as you” and then ran into a lot of dead ends. Again I say, ha! Emily’s airtight, carefully crafted backstory is once more proven holier than my nana eating a Fillet-O-Fish every Friday in Lent. Last episode, Charlotte nearly leveled Em’s past with a Google search. Just think what would’ve happened if this curious con man (who, by the way, has the Graysons believing he’s a rare book dealer and Columbia University grad) hadn’t gotten lazy once he arrived at the Beaver Dam.
I THINK I’M GONNA LIKE IT HERE | Feeling guilty – the fire she set wound up getting them separated – Emily offers to wipe Eli’s criminal record and give him starting-over cash… provided he takes his clean slate to another state. He agrees, and at the foundation’s kickoff party, he easily accepts both the crime-expunging and Emily’s $100,000 check. But after working the room for a while, FauxBro (TM Nolan Ross) finds the Hamptons to his liking; he agrees to co-chair the foundation with Victoria and – in a great moment – makes a grand gesture of donating to the new charity the bank check Emily gave him. (I actually laughed out loud at how spun Em looks in that moment. Your move, Ms. Thorne?) Em enlists Ashley in spreading some rumors about Eli’s unsavory nature, but that makes Queen V only like him more. (Side note: What was up with that totally-devoid-of-bitchery exchange between Victoria and her former assistant? I didn’t like it one bit. God wouldn’t have given you claws, ladies, if he didn’t want you to disembowel each other in casual conversation.) Later, Eli informs Em that he’s sticking around because he’s curious about her, her money and exactly what the heck is going on. (But mostly her money.)